Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Organic Coconut Products
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has declared a multistate salmonella outbreak linked to organic raw coconut. According to a report in the Miami Herald, the National Grocers’ store brand Coconut Smiles Organic dried coconut products have been linked to 13 illnesses nationwide – five in California, two in Oregon and one each in Texas, Utah, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho and Missouri. Three of the food poisoning victims were hospitalized. Salmonella found by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the organic coconut products led to two recalls that, between then, cover 29 states ranging from Maine to Arizona.
International Harvest recalled all Coconut Smiles Organic 10-ounce bags packed before March 16 and has asked consumers to toss them or return them to the point of purchase for a full refund. This is not the first coconut-related salmonella outbreak in the United States this year. In January, a salmonella outbreak connected to frozen shredded coconut sickened 27 people across nine states, sending six to the hospital. The Go Smiles organic raw coconut products have been sold by brick-and-mortar retailers, online sellers and wholesale distributors in many states including California. Anyone with questions is urged to call International Harvest at 914-699-5600.
Salmonella Can Be Dangerous
Salmonella is one of the most common foodborne illnesses in the United States. Symptoms of the illness include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 hours to three days after infecting a person. It can be particularly dangerous to the elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems. Infected aneurysms and endocarditis can strike if salmonella gets into the bloodstream. According to the CDC, salmonella results in the most hospitalizations when it comes to food-borne illnesses.
If You Have Been Sickened
If you or a loved one has become ill as a result of consuming a food product, be sure to isolate and preserve the item so it can be tested at an independent lab for the presence of pathogens. If you are experiencing symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps, get prompt medical attention and ask your doctor to test for the presence of food-borne bacteria.
Report your illness to the local public health agency, which tracks these types of illnesses. Contact an experienced California food poisoning lawyer or defective product lawyer who can help hold the at-fault parties accountable and help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.